Good News blog by Mike Farho

January 30, 2006

An early Valentine

"For God so loVed the world,
        that He gAve
              his onLy
             begottE n
                   SoN
                       That whoever
           believes In Him
             should Not perish,
           but have Everlasting life."
                    John 3:16

January 20, 2006

The Parable Of The Spoons

A man was having a conversation with his teacher one day and said, "Teacher, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like. "The teacher led the man to two doors. He opened one of the doors and the man looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew which smelled delicious and made the man's mouth water.

The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful, but because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths. The man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering. The teacher said, "You have seen Hell."

They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man's mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking. The man said, "I don't understand."

"It is simple," said the teacher. "It requires but one skill. You see, they have learned to feed each other. While the greedy think only of themselves."

January 19, 2006

End of the Spear

by Dr. Ted Baehr

END OF THE SPEAR is a powerful, dramatic retelling of the story of five international workers and their wives who made contact with the vicious Waodani tribe in the jungles of Ecuador in 1956. One international worker, Nate Saint, flies over the jungle day after day to find these fierce people, as they are known. Nate drops gifts down in a bucket to the tribe. Eventually, he lands his small plane with four friends on a sandbar in the river. After initial contact, all of the international workers are brutally killed by the tribe. In an act of true courage, the wives of the international workers decide to go into the jungle to bring the Gospel to the tribe that slaughtered their husbands. Most of the movie is concerned with that intense drama.

Unlike other attempts to depict this redemptive story, END OF THE SPEAR is extremely powerful. The music does a wonderful job of supporting the story. The casting is very authentic, with the international workers looking like college students in the 50s. For all of its budget constraints, END OF THE SPEAR has a great look, and the filmmakers are to be commended.

January 17, 2006

from Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, 'My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.'

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

January 8, 2006

There is a mousetrap in the house!

A Mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife opening a package.

"What food might this contain?" He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.

Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning. "There is a mousetrap in the house; there is a mousetrap in the house!"

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, "Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it."

The mouse turned to the pig and told him, "There is a mousetrap in the house". The pig sympathized but said, "I am so very sorry Mr. Mouse, But there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured that you are in my prayers."

The mouse turned to the cow. She said, "Wow, Mr. Mouse. I'm sorry for you. But it's no skin off my nose." So the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap alone.

That very night a sound was heard throughout the house like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey.

The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness she did not see that it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught.

The snake bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital and she returned home with a fever.

Now everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient.

But his wife's sickness continued, so friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.

The farmer's wife did not get well. She died; And so many people came for her funeral the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.

So next time you hear that someone is facing a problem and think that it doesn't concern you, remember that when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk.

In the book of Genesis, Cain said about Abel his brother to our God: "Am I my brother's keeper?".

We are all involved in this journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and be willing to make that extra effort to encourage one another.

January 5, 2006

Wonderful House For Sale

Could be by Pamela C. Ryans

ADDRESS:
Heaven

FEATURES:
Many rooms with a master suite
Spacious love
Open floor plan for
Large eat-in grace
Fenced in mercy with room for expansion
Son room with a marvelous view of salvation
Pool of milk and honey in the back
Pearly gates in front

DIRECTIONS:
The only way to the Father is through the Son

PRICE:
$0.00 Calvary - Owner financing

COMMUNITY:
Friendly angelic neighbors.
Great family and friends.
Praise the Lord all day and night.

BONUS:
Crown of stars, new luxurious robe and golden slippers with matching wings. Bring a friend and get a reward.

For more information, call your local agent or representative Name, address and phone number listed below.
NAME: Jesus Christ
ADDRESS: Repent Highway and Streets of Gold
PHONE: Dial John 3:16

January 3, 2006

Songs in the Night

by Jill Carattini

I think I might have been deflated at word of no vacancy in the inn. Mary was told by the angel who called her favored that God was with her and that she was part of a plan that would be for all people. In labor in a city that was not home, without the simple comfort of a bed, I wonder if she felt God had let her down that night or that He had somehow forgotten her in the midst of darkness. Yet from the text, it seems unlikely that Mary felt this way. With shepherds as witnesses to the baby lying in a manger, Mary is said to have "treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart" (Luke 2:19).

I doubt I would have been so forgiving. Time marked with unfavorable conditions often feels like time marked with God's absence. The psalmist writes of one such experience: "I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands and my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered you, O God, and I groaned; I mused, and my spirit grew faint" (Psalm 77:1-3). It is hard to know what God is doing in the dark. The Incarnation boldly reminds us that He is near though we labor in darkness, but the night can still be lonely.

Thrown in prison for his complicity in the plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Dietrich Bonhoeffer struggled between postures of faith and despair, such that he began to wonder what his true position was. To a lifelong friend, he admitted the struggle between knowing God was there and grieving the uncertainty of what God was doing: "And finally, I must begin to tell you that, despite all I have written in my letters, it is disgusting here. My gruesome experiences often follow me into the darkness of the night, and I can only combat them by repeating innumerable hymns? You write to encourage and say that I 'bear it all so well.' I ask myself often who I really am. Am I the man who squirms under these ghastly conditions and cries out with complaints or am I the man who disciplines himself to appear outwardly unaffected by these things? And perhaps persuades himself that he is at peace, content, and in control of himself. Is he playing a part as in a stage play, or not? What does this 'posture' really mean?"

For many of us it is unnatural to respond to the dark with perfect confidence, though we know we hold the light of life; rejection at the inn or a sudden call in the middle of the night can bring into crisis our entire theology. Yet even through this, God is at work teaching us again his songs for the night. Weeks after he described his questioning soul, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote to his fiancÚ, "Your prayers and kind thoughts, passages from the Bible, long forgotten conversations, pieces of music, books; all are invested with life and reality as never before. I live in a great unseen realm of whose real existence I'm in no doubt." Not long after these words, Dietrich Bonhoeffer went to his execution, where his last words would be uttered: "This is the end; for me the beginning of life."

God who came to the unfavorable conditions life and death on earth has given us a hope far greater than our despair. As the apostle Paul reminded the Thessalonians: "We do not belong to the night or to the darkness." Yet sometimes it is in the dark where we are moved again to the place where the light of Christ can make all things new:

"When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, 'Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.' So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told" (Luke 2:15-20).

December 2005 Good News Blog